Boost Your Online Reading Efficiency


If you’re like many a web worker, you spend a great deal of time reading online. That’s what I do for much of my day, and I use a variety of tools and techniques to make online reading easier on my eyes, and generally more efficient. In this post, I’ll round up some good examples.

Tofu is a slick, free little applications for Mac OS X, that goes with the same logic a newspaper does—that people find multiple, thin columns of text easier to read and scan than one big sea of text. In Tofu, text is arranged in columns, and each column is only as high as your window.

If you read a lot of web pages during the day, as I do, you can easily drop the text of a page into Tofu. You can also use your voice to navigate in Tofu, although I don’t happen to use that feature.

Not long ago, I did a post on 12 “Zen” applications—featuring stripped-down interfaces that are often very easy on the eyes and calming to work with. These types of applications can be ideal for making online reading a more pleasant experience.

Of the applications that I mentioned in that post, Write Room (see below) is absolutely excellent for distraction free writing, but it’s also very calming to use when reading documents. It has a tabula rasa-like interface that lets you concentrate on the words. Take a look at some of the other Zen apps in the post above for more easy-on-the-eyes suggestions for both Windows and Mac users.

Write Room is hardly the only minimalist word processor out there. For many more examples of similar applications, and some good additional suggestions from readers, see Leo’s post.

Do you have any tips on keeping online reading and writing easy?


Varun Mathur

Simple. Use <a href=”” Its a web-based RSS feed reader with a very simple yet powerful interface on which you can read several articles VERY quickly. It represents various websites/feeds by big,desktop-like icons and has a feature called “Autoplay” with which you can see the articles like a slideshow. Its like reading the web like you watch TV..

Check it out ! Quick (soundless) demo on youtube:

Jonas Martinsson

FeedJournal is a universal alternative where you can build a PDF newspaper from feeds. If you want a specific article you could add it to Google Notebook and subscribe to Notebook’s feed in FeedJournal.

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